We know, we know – real Spring doesn’t arrive until March 20th.  But seeing as Winter is throwing her last hurrah, and then one more…and then – more snow???  – we wanted to throw something back.

Something light, something fruity, something delicious – to remind us all that warmer days are surely right around the corner.

And though it appears Mother Nature doesn’t agree, we at BX are proclaiming it’s time for Spring.

So snow or no snow, we release our Spring Botanical Cider – Black Currant Cardamom.

Now this one was a polarizing one last year – full of deep astringent blackcurrant added right before bottling, it was not for the faint of heart.  Spicy, peppery cardamom kicked up that intensity another notch more.  It was the first year we had made it to a quantity that allowed for wider distribution beyond our Vernon market, and it was a success.

But then we discovered a problem: there are not alot of blackcurrants grown in BC. We only use BC-grown fruit in our ciders and we were not able to secure a supply of BC-grown blackcurrants for this next season.  So we were faced with a few choices:

1. Source the Blackcurrants from New Zealand and thereby compromise our strong dedication to supporting BC farmers and processors.
2.  Not make the cider at all this season
3. Change the process by which we make this cider, utilizing spent BC-grown blackcurrants purchased from our friends at Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery. They have large long-term contracts in place for the existing BC blackcurrant crop so didn’t face the same shortage as us being very new on the scene.

We opted for Option 3 and after the blackcurrants were used to make Okanagan Spirits delicious Blackcurrant Liqueur, we added them to our final pressing of apple juice in early December. The apple juice and blackcurrants co-fermented for nearly six weeks together. The resulting cider is lighter in flavour and color than the release last year – but in many ways I think better. Co-fermenting the fruit makes for a more interesting and better integrated mingling of the flavours.   The delicate aromatic and astringency are better suited for a spring release than the heavier notes in the previous version. And perhaps most importantly, we were able to make it without compromising our integrity to use real fruit grown in BC, while at the same time giving the blackcurrants another life after our friends at Okanagan Spirits used them. A win all-around.

It’s a little boozier this year as we co-fermented the blackcurrants and apples – meaning the alcohol potential was higher given the higher amount of fruit sugar available from the currants.

We hope you’ll join us in welcoming spring! Available in liquor stores across the province this week and throughout the Spring.

Five Years
Winter in the Orchard